Hear from our students!
Future mediators attend a seminar at one of the mediation centers
Why is this program important?
The marked increase in violence and crime in Arab society has brought the issue to the forefront in recent years. In the summer of 2020, the Committee of Heads of Arab Authorities in Israel and the Executive Committee formulated position papers on violence in Arab society. Their recommendations emphasized the importance of mediation as an effective tool for dealing with much of the current violence. The language, culture, and implementation of the mediation model as a means of conflict resolution allow parties to reach an agreement before conflict escalates to violence and property damage, threatening community members’ safety and livelihoods.
There is an urgent need to decrease the violence in Arab Society, and while Givat Haviva is not the first to propose the establishment of mediation centers to serve the Arab population, our holistic approach is unique. Our program includes the local authority in establishing the centers, and the mediation training is taught by experts with extensive academic knowledge and field experience in mediation.
This program has established mediation centers in four Arab Authorities. These centers are staffed by respected community members and leaders who have undergone extensive mediation training. These community mediators will monitor existing and developing conflicts and handle them through mediation. The teams will also foster a culture of mediation through formal and informal frameworks. Mediation and Dialogue Centers will serve as agents of change in their communities and the field of conflict resolution, growing the influence of mediation on society. Implementation of mediation centers will lead communities away from violence and toward mediation during times of disagreement and conflict.
The program will operate for three years, during which mediators will be recruited and trained, and mediation centers will open. Local teams will be mentored in their work and in the dissemination of the messages in the towns to assess their effectiveness. The program will begin with an initial phase of six to nine months, during which agreements will be signed with the Local Authorities, steering committees will be formed, and future mediators will be identified and enrolled. Enrollment will be followed by the training itself, after which the centers will be established and operate with the professional guidance of the mediation activity and support of the educational and outreach activities. Following the third year, the centers will continue operating independently under the auspices of the local authorities.
What is unique about our program?
The inclusion of training as part of the program means that future mediators can be selected based on their standing in the community and not on any previous mediation training or qualifications. It will also allow the training to be tailored specifically to the needs and culture of community mediators in Arab society.
Our program includes community outreach and ensures a significant number of events to raise awareness about Mediation and Dialogue Centers and to educate youth and families about mediation culture and the center’s services.
Two national conferences will take place at the end of each of the first two years of the centers’ operations. These conferences will bring the initiative and its results to the attention of other local authorities and policymakers on a national level.
The program will be led by a national steering committee with Field Coordinator Dr. Ghazal Abu Raya. Givat Haviva has been active in the field of mediation for decades and has trained many mediators through a team of leading experts. In recent years, Givat Haviva trained local and regional mediation leadership as part of the "Shared Communities" program, which included three cycles of regional mediation leadership courses for officials and citizens from various authorities.
Mediation and Dialogue Centers
Offering Mediation as an alternative to violence